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You take care of your business… We’ll make sure you have the tools

Disaster Recovery plans, and Backups are something that many businesses believe they have covered, and often don’t realise they are exposed until it’s too late.  Many just say we have backups and think that’s all it takes.  If that’s what you think, taking 5 minutes to think about the following questions might alert you to an issue that could one day save your business.

Have you identified what systems and data are critical to your business?

Often business overlook the simple things. One examples we have seen in the past, is of a large manufacturing business with an expensive ERP system that was dependent on an old/obsolete PC and printer combination to print packing labels. We identified that if this failed they could not get a replacement, and their distribution would grind to a halt, which in turn would stop their manufacturing process. The cost to the business it terms of lost sales, and reputational damage would have been huge. The cost of redeveloping the system to run on modern hardware was insignificant compared to the risk the obsolete equipment posed to the business.

Our consulting services will work with you to:

  • identify the systems and data you are dependent on, and
  • identify practical contingencies if/when they become unavailable.
Are your critical systems designed to ensure they are as robust as they need to be?

When designing systems and infrastructure for them, it is wise to consider how robust the design is in terms of:

  • Reducing the risk of a failure … good quality equipment and a suitable environment for the equipment can save you money in the long run!
  • Using equipment that can be replaced quickly and cost effectively if required can reduce the time your systems are unavailable after a failure. If you are considering fringe rather than mainstream solutions, factoring recovery into your thinking is wise.

We will review your key systems and infrastructure and make practical suggestions for changes that can be made that will:

  • reduce the risk of a failure, and
  • reduce the time to recover if there is a failure.
Have you tested recovering quickly on-site or to another location if your location is damaged (e.g. by fire) and will your data be up to date enough?

We have seen many examples whereby business thought they were safe because they were doing backups, only to find that they were unable to recover from those backups, or that it took too long to get their data back and source equipment to recover to.

Altair’s standard backup solution offers:

  • full backups on-site at your premises using Altair supplied enterprise class storage,
  • copies of your backups at a primary Altair location replicated to us via the internet each night or incremental backups every 15 minutes if you wish,
  • additional copies of your backups at a secondary Altair location,
  • standby servers which can be utilised immediately if you have a disaster, and
  • regular testing to ensure that the backups can successfully be recovered. We will also on request, or a scheduled basis, perform a full disaster recovery test.
Do you have backups available in another city or country in case there is a regional disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami?

While business operating in Christchurch and Wellington (and more recently Gisborne) tend to treat this as a serious issue, there is still a reasonable level of complacency with Auckland businesses. We suggest businesses consider what they would do in the event of a regional disaster ... will your data be safe and will you be able to recover?

Altair can offer replication of backups to other cities and other countries (usually Australia).

Do you have a strategy for where your staff can work after a local or regional disaster?

If there is a fire on your premises you will also lose access to your offices, so you will need to have an alternate location from which your staff can work.

If there is a regional disaster, then you will also need to take into account the fact that:

  • Pressure on any ‘shared’ office accommodation offered by your Disaster Recover partner will soon be oversubscribed and unavailable,
  • Many of your staff will want to ‘work from home’ and give priority to caring for their families.

Our approach to this is to ensure that we can:

  • Recover your systems and data onto our stand-by servers or servers we acquire promtply after a disaster (we have strategies to achieve this) at our location or any other location,
  • Have network equipment on standby that will enable you to access your systems remotely from a new temporary office (e.g. Hotel or conference facilities), or remotely/securely from PC’s anywhere via the internet (including your staff at their homes).
Do you retain backups long enough to meet your legal requirements, or find old data if you need it?

Apart from the obvious legal requirements, there may also be situations where you find that you need data going back several years due to situations such as:

  • Litigation issues where it is important to access evidence from (perhaps) many years before
  • Data being maliciously deleted by disgruntled staff before they leave.

Altair offers the ability to retain your backups for as long as you required with options of both disk and tape storage.

Do you have a strategy to protect the retention and availability of data that you store in the Cloud?

While the Cloud offers many benefits and we are seeing many businesses moving to it, there is often a misapprehension that this means ‘the cloud provider deals with backups so we don’t have to worry’. While some of the large Cloud providers do have excellent data protection/retention policies, many businesses do not understand them and can be caught out by data being lost unexpectedly.

We can review your use of Cloud services and explain the risks to you as well as provide practical solutions to ensure that data retention and protection meets your needs.

Are you worried about crypto-locker viruses and ransomware?

While there are many steps we recommend to prevent infection, for example:

  • filtering executible files in emails so they cant get through
  • Showing hidden file extensions to make it more obvious if the file is not what its pretending to be
  • Keeping your software updates regular! While Microsoft sends updates every 2nd Tuesday, sometimes they release them more frequently when there is a significant threat.

If something does slip thorugh, regular backups could save the day (we recommended every 15 minutes). This means that if a virus does slip through and encrypt all of the files on your servers, you have the additional option of recovering the files without giving in to the ransomware demand.

Altair’s backup solution takes incremental backups every 15 minutes and we retain them for an agreed period of time to allow data recovery.

Are you concerned by the expected (or current) cost of a solid Disaster Recovery/Data Protection plan?

Many businesses are concerned about Data Protection, but think that it will be too expensive for them.

Altair has put a significant effort into developing a solution and process that will give you the protection you need, at a cost you can afford.

Why you should act now!

If these questions raised concerns, your business could be at risk and you should act now.

Call us today and we will meet with you, and show you how we can help!

Disaster Recovery